The Shard rises! Iconic London skyscraper underway

The Shard rises! Iconic London skyscraper underway

Originally called the ‘London Bridge Tower’, and then the ‘Shard London Bridge’ and ‘Shard of Glass’ before most people settled on describing it as ‘The Shard,’ this elegant skyscraper is set to be the tallest building in London, the United Kingdom and the European Union.

The Shard rises! Iconic London skyscraper underway

[Note that the the “radiator” in the spire has now been removed from the design – the cooling plant has got more advanced and efficient since the original proposal and they’re no longer needed]

The Shard rises! Iconic London skyscraper underway
[The Shard seen from London Bridge on a cold and grey afternoon, March 12th, 2010]

The Shard rises! Iconic London skyscraper underway
[March 2010]

#1 in Europe (for a while, at least)

Set for completion in 2012, the pointy tower will stand at 310 m (1,017 ft) tall and boast 72 floors, plus 15 further radiator floors in the roof, with architect Renzo Piano incorporating structural design lessons learnt from the 9/11 WTC collapses.

The Shard rises! Iconic London skyscraper underway

Shard tower seen from the Anchor pub, by Clink Street, on the south bank of the Thames, 13th Sept, 2010.

The Shard rises! Iconic London skyscraper underway

The Shard with Southwark Cathedral in the foreground.

The Shard rises! Iconic London skyscraper underway

The central concrete core has been rising at around  3 metres a day, and is expected to reach the 72nd floor by mid-November.

There’s going to be a public viewing gallery at the top which is expected to draw over two million visitors a year. I’ll be up there as soon as I can!

The Shard rises! Iconic London skyscraper underway

Interestingly, the nearby Bishopsgate Tower was originally proposed to be one metre higher than the Shard, but objections from the Civil Aviation Authority put the kibosh on that, so the rival tower will be restricted to 288m height.

Discuss the new building here: The Shard starts…

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